O'Brien & Bennett, Attorneys at Law

O'Brien & Bennett, Attorneys at Law O'Brien & Bennett, P.A. is a law firm located in Sarasota, Florida dedicated to supporting clients w We assist clients who need a trusted legal advisor.
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Our Firm Helps You with Legal Problems in the Areas of Elder Law

Our firm employs a combination of over three decades of experience in the practice of law, critical analysis, skillful preparation, and principled advocacy. Clients appreciate the value of having a lawyer who will carefully listen to their story and assist them in taking action to obtain identifiable results. Our practice emphasizes

planning, collaboration, litigation, and dispute resolution involving estate, trust, probate, and guardianship matters.

There’s no way to anticipate when we’ll go, but that difficult time can be made easier on our friends and family by havi...
09/23/2023

There’s no way to anticipate when we’ll go, but that difficult time can be made easier on our friends and family by having a plan in place that tells them exactly how to manage any money or assets we’ve left behind.

Spoiler: You don’t have to be ultrawealthy to have an estate plan.

Estate planning takes on a new urgency when you become a parent. It's essential to spell out who you'd want to care for ...
09/22/2023

Estate planning takes on a new urgency when you become a parent. It's essential to spell out who you'd want to care for your children if you're gone and also to provide for their financial security.

Don't put it off any longer.

A charitable trust allows you to donate assets to a chosen tax-exempt charitable organization or nonprofit and comes wit...
09/13/2023

A charitable trust allows you to donate assets to a chosen tax-exempt charitable organization or nonprofit and comes with certain tax benefits to help you minimize what you might owe to the government. Establishing a charitable trust can be an important part of your estate plan and a rewarding way to make an impact for a cause you care deeply about.

A charitable trust allows you to donate assets to a chosen tax-exempt charitable organization or nonprofit and comes with certain tax benefits.

While a will is a useful and airtight legal document, it does have some limitations. For instance, a will must go throug...
09/11/2023

While a will is a useful and airtight legal document, it does have some limitations. For instance, a will must go through the probate process, which can be lengthy and expensive. It may be wise to use other tools to achieve your goals, such as living trusts.

A traditional will could be the simplest but not necessarily the best way to pass on your legacy.

Living trusts are created while the grantor is still alive. It is a legal arrangement that designates a trustee to manag...
09/06/2023

Living trusts are created while the grantor is still alive. It is a legal arrangement that designates a trustee to manage the assets for beneficiaries, which can include you.

A living trust can offer key benefits for transferring wealth.

What happens to your digital properties after you pass away? Worst-case scenarios are familiar to many families who have...
09/04/2023

What happens to your digital properties after you pass away? Worst-case scenarios are familiar to many families who haven’t planned ahead: The property gets lost, either irretrievably or for years, during which beneficiaries must try to find passwords or slog through legal channels to get access.

What Happens to Your Digital Properties After You Die?

What happens to the bank accounts when you pass away? The answer depends on a few factors, such as whether the account i...
09/01/2023

What happens to the bank accounts when you pass away? The answer depends on a few factors, such as whether the account is a joint account, or if there are any beneficiaries named. Making a few preparations can save your survivors from financial stress while grieving your loss.

You can't take it with you, so what happens to your bank account after you pass on? Here's everything you need to know.

As you draft charitable planning provisions, it is wise to do so alongside an estate planning attorney who is familiar w...
08/29/2023

As you draft charitable planning provisions, it is wise to do so alongside an estate planning attorney who is familiar with your needs.

First, make sure the organization accepts donations.

An estate plan makes sure your assets go to those you intend to receive them after you die. A good plan can also reduce ...
08/25/2023

An estate plan makes sure your assets go to those you intend to receive them after you die. A good plan can also reduce family strife and provide clear end-of-life directives should an individual become incapacitated.

The goal of estate planning is to make sure your wealth and other assets go to those you intend. Learn more about how to plan your estate and why you absolutely need it, regardless of how much wealth you have.

By taking the time to think ahead when it comes to leaving an inheritance, you can avoid adding a headache to your loved...
08/22/2023

By taking the time to think ahead when it comes to leaving an inheritance, you can avoid adding a headache to your loved one's heartache after you pass.

Passing on your home might not be the best idea

An estate plan is a collection of legally binding documents that ensures you are in control of what happens to you, your...
08/18/2023

An estate plan is a collection of legally binding documents that ensures you are in control of what happens to you, your assets and any dependents you may have if you become disabled or when you die. The plan can include a will, power of attorney forms, trusts and more.

A will, power of attorney and trusts are among the most crucial documents for young adults to draft to ensure they have a say after they die or are critically disabled.

Estate planning can take on a new dimension when you own a business. Not only do you need a strategy for managing person...
08/15/2023

Estate planning can take on a new dimension when you own a business. Not only do you need a strategy for managing personal assets but you also need to consider what will happen to your business in the long-term.

Estate planning can take on a new dimension when you own a business. Not only do you need a strategy for managing personal assets but you also need to consider what will happen to your business in the long-term. Estate … Continue reading ->The post Estate Planning for Business Owners appeared firs...

One of the most common errors in estate planning is simply failing to have one. An attorney can work with you to make a ...
08/11/2023

One of the most common errors in estate planning is simply failing to have one. An attorney can work with you to make a plan that protects your legacy and loved ones.

Making an estate plan is an important part of protecting your legacy and your loved ones.

It’s never too early to start thinking about your estate plan: The strategic decisions and investments you make now can ...
08/08/2023

It’s never too early to start thinking about your estate plan: The strategic decisions and investments you make now can increase the capital you’ll have available to finance your retirement years and late-in-life healthcare needs. An attorney can help you decide which estate planning tools make the most sense for your situation.

A grantor trust is a type of living trust in which the person creating the trust (the grantor) remains the owner of the ...
08/04/2023

A grantor trust is a type of living trust in which the person creating the trust (the grantor) remains the owner of the assets and property in the trust for both income and estate tax purposes.

This revocable trust has all its income and deductions reported on the owner’s tax return. Learn more about how it works.

Probate is a legal process that occurs after a death. In most cases, probate is a key part of settling the estate of a d...
08/01/2023

Probate is a legal process that occurs after a death. In most cases, probate is a key part of settling the estate of a deceased person. If you want your loved ones to avoid this process, an estate planning lawyer can help you identify ways to facilitate the transfer of most or all of your property outside of probate.

When someone passes away, their estate may need to be probated. But what is probate? This guide explains what probate is, how the probate process works and offers some insight into how assets can be transferred outside of the probate process.

Putting your property in a trust can be a smart way to ensure smooth transfer of ownership to your beneficiaries after y...
07/29/2023

Putting your property in a trust can be a smart way to ensure smooth transfer of ownership to your beneficiaries after your death, but it can be complicated. It's a good idea to consult closely with an attorney on your options

Assets placed in a trust, including a home, are protected in ways that they aren’t when owned individually.

Those thinking of how to preserve their family’s financial legacy can beat the so-called “third generation” curse throug...
07/25/2023

Those thinking of how to preserve their family’s financial legacy can beat the so-called “third generation” curse through financial education, money management and hiring the right professionals to help.

As baby boomers prepare to transfer wealth to their children, those younger generations may be thinking of how to preserve their family's financial legacy. The "third generation curse" indicates that...

Should the unexpected happen, having a will in place can be a simple way to avoid leaving important decisions about your...
07/22/2023

Should the unexpected happen, having a will in place can be a simple way to avoid leaving important decisions about your assets and guardianship wishes to your state’s laws and courts.

Having a will in place, even if you're young, can be a simple way to avoid leaving important decisions about your assets and guardianship wishes to the courts.

A living trust and will are not mutually exclusive. Many people choose both as pillars of their estate planning. An esta...
07/18/2023

A living trust and will are not mutually exclusive. Many people choose both as pillars of their estate planning. An estate planning attorney can give advice specific to your situation.

There's more than one way to pass on your legacy.

There are a few ways you can set up your bank account to make things as simple as possible after your passing.
07/15/2023

There are a few ways you can set up your bank account to make things as simple as possible after your passing.

After death, your bank account may not go directly to your heirs. Learn how to set things up so that it does.

When you enroll in a new 401(k) plan, or move one from a previous employer, you'll be asked to name beneficiaries. These...
07/11/2023

When you enroll in a new 401(k) plan, or move one from a previous employer, you'll be asked to name beneficiaries. These are the people (or entities like a trust or a charity) that would inherit the 401(k) if you pass away.

You can designate a wide range of heirs to inherit your 401(k). In this guide, we’ll explain the rules you need to know.

Creating and maintaining a trust can be an important step in estate planning, giving your beneficiaries a clear outline ...
07/08/2023

Creating and maintaining a trust can be an important step in estate planning, giving your beneficiaries a clear outline of your needs.

You may have heard of a trust fund, but aren’t sure exactly what it is. Here’s what you should know about trust funds and how to set one up.

Many people don’t realize the extent of their electronic and digital lives and the potential problems they’re leaving fo...
07/04/2023

Many people don’t realize the extent of their electronic and digital lives and the potential problems they’re leaving for others to deal with.

Many people don't realize the extent of their electronic and digital lives and the potential problems they're leaving for others to deal with.

The unexpected could happen at any time, so it’s always a good time to review your own estate planning needs.
07/01/2023

The unexpected could happen at any time, so it’s always a good time to review your own estate planning needs.

Knowing that your assets are going where you intend them can bring you peace of mind.

Debts typically become the responsibility of your estate after you die. Your estate is everything you own at the time of...
06/27/2023

Debts typically become the responsibility of your estate after you die. Your estate is everything you own at the time of your death. The process of paying your bills and distributing what’s left is called probate.

Your estate is typically responsible for your debts after you die. But your mortgage, car loan and credit card bill could become someone else’s burden.

Figuring out who gets what and when after you die can be expensive if you die without a will—and your loved ones will be...
06/24/2023

Figuring out who gets what and when after you die can be expensive if you die without a will—and your loved ones will bear the cost.

This legal document spells out who gets what and when—and can be the greatest gift you give to those you love.

A trust—created by an individual called the grantor—spells out how assets can be used during a grantor’s lifetime and ho...
06/20/2023

A trust—created by an individual called the grantor—spells out how assets can be used during a grantor’s lifetime and how those assets should pass to the grantor’s beneficiaries when they die. And many types of trusts offer an added estate planning perk: They avoid probate.

Estate planning attorneys love trusts. Here’s why you might, too.

Estate planning is putting your affairs in order so that your loved ones are taken care of if you die or are incapacitat...
06/17/2023

Estate planning is putting your affairs in order so that your loved ones are taken care of if you die or are incapacitated. The biggest and, sadly, the most common, estate planning mistake is not doing it at all. https://bit.ly/2I545ir

Estate planning goes beyond drafting a will. Use this pre-death checklist to account for your assets and ensure they are dispersed as you wish,

Talking about and planning for our death can be challenging, and it is a topic many of us prefer to avoid. But a will ca...
06/13/2023

Talking about and planning for our death can be challenging, and it is a topic many of us prefer to avoid. But a will can be important for you, and for family and friends who may be charged with handling your estate. It’s a critical part of being financially prepared.

Writing a will is an important part of estate planning. Make sure you avoid these common mistakes.

A well-designed trust can help save time, paperwork and other headaches when settling an estate.
06/10/2023

A well-designed trust can help save time, paperwork and other headaches when settling an estate.

A trust is a legal arrangement intended to ensure a person’s assets go to specific beneficiaries. Trusts can hold bank accounts, houses, cars or other assets.

For many people who feel closer to friends than family, estate planning can require special considerations.
06/06/2023

For many people who feel closer to friends than family, estate planning can require special considerations.

For many people who feel closer to friends than family, estate planning can require special considerations.

In 2023, the federal estate tax ranges from rates of 18% to 40% and generally only applies to assets over $12.92 million...
06/03/2023

In 2023, the federal estate tax ranges from rates of 18% to 40% and generally only applies to assets over $12.92 million. But even if you qualify for the federal estate tax exemption, you may still remain responsible for a state-level tax.

Here's how the estate tax rules work, what the estate tax rates are and whether you may have to pay the state, too — plus tips for minimizing the tax bite.

Failure to prepare for post-death wealth transfer could leave your heirs with a heap of problems, from higher-than-expec...
05/30/2023

Failure to prepare for post-death wealth transfer could leave your heirs with a heap of problems, from higher-than-expected tax bills to specific heirs not receiving what you intended to leave them.

According to reporting by the Wall Street Journal, approximately $70 trillion in wealth will be transferred from baby boomers and older generations to their heirs by 2042. That's a massive shift that...

For the sake of your loved ones, take time to create a plan that ensures your retirement savings goes where you want it ...
05/27/2023

For the sake of your loved ones, take time to create a plan that ensures your retirement savings goes where you want it to in the event of your death.

Estate planning determines who will inherit your IRA, 401(k), or other retirement accounts.

Your digital life includes dozens of usernames and passwords. Providing a digital estate plan can help your family deal ...
05/23/2023

Your digital life includes dozens of usernames and passwords. Providing a digital estate plan can help your family deal with your accounts with minimal fuss.

Your digital life includes dozens of usernames and passwords. Providing a digital estate plan can help your family deal with your accounts with minimal fuss.

Even if your family gets along just fine, having a clear plan in place can help avoid legal costs and minimize family st...
05/20/2023

Even if your family gets along just fine, having a clear plan in place can help avoid legal costs and minimize family stress while making it more likely that your final wishes become a reality.

Clear communication can make a painful process less fraught when it comes time to divvy up the assets.

A family member’s mental health issues may interfere with their ability to manage finances. Setting up a trust is one wa...
05/16/2023

A family member’s mental health issues may interfere with their ability to manage finances. Setting up a trust is one way to transfer wealth to a loved one and create financial stability for them.

Transferring wealth to a loved one with a mental illness or disorder requires careful thought and legal guidance. Experts explain how a legal trust can help.

For the sake of yourself — and, more importantly, your loved ones — getting your estate and health-care directives in or...
05/13/2023

For the sake of yourself — and, more importantly, your loved ones — getting your estate and health-care directives in order can prevent a lot of emotional pain and suffering down the road.

Regardless of age and wealth, virtually everyone should consider how they want their assets distributed upon their death.

The consequences of dying without a will—the legal term is intestate—come down to where you live. Dying intestate can ha...
05/09/2023

The consequences of dying without a will—the legal term is intestate—come down to where you live. Dying intestate can have unintended consequences for pretty much every family type, but it is especially painful if there are unmarried partners or stepchildren, who are left out under the law in almost every scenario.

Most Americans don’t have wills, leaving estate planning to a complicated range of state laws.

Address

1800 Second Street, Suite 735
Sarasota, FL
34236

Opening Hours

Monday 8:30am - 5:30pm
Tuesday 8:30am - 5:30pm
Wednesday 8:30am - 5:30pm
Thursday 8:30am - 5:30pm
Friday 8:30am - 5:30pm

Telephone

(941) 316-9200

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